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Jamie Malonzo eligible to play in FIBA tournaments as local

June 30, 2022 - Thursday 1:06 PM by GDM

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Great news for Gilas fans!

Jamie Malonzo has been officially recognized by FIBA as a local.

The NorthPort forward learned his eligibility status through Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes during the East Asia Super League inaugural grouping ceremony on Tuesday.

"Honestly for me, it's like a dream come true,” said Malonzo.

“Actually, just last night at the East Asia Super League event. I'm sitting next to (coach) Chot. He was able to explain it to me. He told me. He gave me the news. Super excited.”

All along, Malonzo had his Philippine passport when he was eight according to his mother.

FIBA recognizes a certain player as local as long as he acquired his country's passport at the age of 16.

Although the Fil-American have yet to be considered in the Gilas lineup, it will be a dream come true for him to play for the national team, and he will do everything he can to help.

After all, Gilas will be needing Malonzo's height, versatility, and athleticism.

“Hopefully, a lot. I don’t know if I am, but people say I’m versatile. So hopefully, I can bring a lot of defense, offense, athleticism, scoring,” said Malonzo.

“For me, it still feels surreal that I’m just eligible. It’s like a dream come true,” he added.

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